Lunch for the Girls: Destinee’s remarks

Destinee

My name is Destinee Juber and Girls Inc. helped me reach my potential.

I went to Girls Inc in 2011 and 2012, during my days in foster care, and at the time I was a completely different person. I was a mess of a girl that was constantly making terrible choices. I’ve struggled with PTSD and depression for the better part of my life. However, back then it controlled me; I let those words define me as a person. I didn’t know anything else, until the staff at Girls Inc. showed me compassion and wanted to help me.

Each day after school I was routinely the first girl to enter the building for many months. Sometimes the hopelessness was overpowering and my heavy heart brought my shoulders down with it. Other days I’d strut down the hallway with undeniable confidence. I was given a special job to do, in effort to help me grow. I grew each and every time I watered the garden, trimmed the oregano, and fed the worms. I delicately took care of that garden and kept a certain fascination with the worms. At the time they were one of my few friends. You’ll find that my heart was longing for an opportunity, for a chance at life. But I chose to go about it all wrong.

One day I decided I needed more and I was tough, I was an adult. I’d show them. I defiantly walked out of the building and down the devilishly crooked street. I can hardly believe that I, myself would just walk out in the dark, in Omaha, but I had to prove I was grown. I wandered foolishly as the darkness of night stalked my every move. 3 hours later a group of teenagers took me in and had the police pick me up. I was scared and angry that they would betray me like that, but they saved me from being kidnapped or making yet another idiotic decision.

With shame I was hauled back to my foster home and continued to act defiantly because I wasn’t going down without a fight. After things died down and I had received my punishment, I was sure I’d never re-enter that brick building. But these gracious and amazing people looked past my foolishness and decided I had potential and they stuck with me. I was given a second chance I have yet to forget. It was so powerful I only wish I could express in words how grateful I am. It was magical for that lost 12-year-old girl.

After a few months of gardening and time with my amazing and ever-faithful mentor, I was changing. My mentor taught me so many skills, from all things engineering, problem solving, and good habits. I excelled in school, proudly challenged myself in my STEM groups at Girls Inc, and felt as if I truly belonged. Believe me, I was 12, I had my days, but they always stood by my side. The doors they opened were questionable for me. I was confused as to why they wanted to help me and not just push me away. The truth is they really do care, because if they didn’t I can assure you they had many opportunities to prove me wrong and they chose to stand by me. Mental health was one barrier that kept me from reaching my potential and they embraced it. If I had a hard day, they gave me a reason to push through it.

It’s a great feeling to know you will always have someone in your corner! To this day I keep in contact and let me just say this world does not deserve to have such wonderful people all in one place.

I am Destinee and I am strong, smart, and bold!

Regan’s remarks from Lunch for the Girls 2017

Regan

My name is Regan Fulton, I’ve been a Girls Inc. Member since age five. Yesterday was my birthday. I’m ten years old.  Being a Girls Inc. girl means I get to participate in a lot of different programs and clubs. I’m in soccer, robotics, sparks and my favorite – the coding club. Last year, Ms. Beth was signing up girls for this club. She started with ten-year-olds for her first session and I was only nine. I really wanted to be a part of the club and I knew that I was smart and good enough to be with those older girls. I find coding very fun because you get to use all four subjects of science technology, engineering, and Math.  During the coding club we programed Sphero’s and ran them through different obstacle courses, coded bracelets with our names on them for Valentine’s Day, programmed an EV3 Mindstorm robot during Lego League Club and played scratch games. I really like playing coding games. My goal is to keep practicing and getting better in coding because when I go to college I want to be a teacher. I want to teach people what coding is and why it’s important for our future.  So, if anyone in this crowd today would like to come and help us continue to learn how to code please e-mail Ms. Emily (emwaja@girlsincomaha.org) because we are looking to grow our coding team. Without teachers we can’t grow. So please, come code with us.

Thank you for believing in our coding future.

Kendra’s Remarks from Lunch for the Girls 2017

My name is Kendra Trimble and I’m fifteen years old. I’ve been a Girls Inc. member for nine years. With the expansion of the North Omaha Katherine Fletcher center, we are very lucky to have an elevated track, fitness center and a yoga space. So, when Mr. Joe started his first fitness club last year, I was one of the first group of teens to join the club. When I joined the club, my goal was to lose 10lbs. Little did I know that I was going to learn about patience, how to set personal goals, learn different ways to relieve stress and enjoy working out with Mr. Joe. As I mentioned earlier my goal was to lose ten pounds; I’m happy to say that I lost fifteen pounds.  It took me half a year to do this, and that’s a life time for a teen. I definitely exercised patience and on top of that I learned how to eat healthy and maintain a healthy lifestyle. I learned that I can accomplish a lot with patience and determination.

On top of fitness club, I’m a member of the Eureka! program and B.E.L. (Board of Educated Ladies)-our sex education peer teaching program. When I was younger I was a part of Operation SMART and Techbridge both STEM programs. At Girls Inc., staff have helped me with my resume building, interviewing skills, homework help and public speaking. I’ve become better in science, more comfortable in my math classes and most important they have helped me with my communicating skills. As you can see, Girls Inc. is molding me to be the next travelling nurse. That’s my career goal.

Thank you for being in my corner.

Mr. Joe’s Fitness Club

Inaugural Fitness Club from September 9th – November 15thimg_9233

The idea behind Fitness Club was to create a little extra motivation to get moving. I did not take any body composition measurements like weight, % body fat, height, VO2 max, etc. My only expectation was that the girls showed up on a regular basis and had a good attitude. The class was only supposed to last for 8 weeks; however, the girls kept coming and I extended the club for two extra weeks. Fitness club met almost every Tuesday and Thursday throughout the months of September through November.

For me, my goals were to make the participants more comfortable in a weight room setting. I think everyone has had an experience where they have felt intimidated or uncomfortable working out, especially in an unfamiliar weight room. I taught the basic etiquette for the workout equipment and cardio equipment. Almost the entire first session was spent just on technique and teaching the core movements that would be used in Fitness Club. After this, the workouts started coming.

img_9295The workouts were difficult, but the girls persevered and finished every time in their own way. When the girls needed some extra motivation, Ms. Anna and Ms. Adaisha were able to help out and lead a workout or two. After most of the workouts, I would prompt the girls with a question to write in their journals. We were better at writing in our journals some weeks more than others, but here are some of their entries below:

 

“The most challenging thing in fitness club today was burpees x50. It was hard and challenging because I never did them before and it was 50 of them to do. After a while, I got used to them though and did all 50.”  Kendra – 14

“The thing I like about fitness club is that we get to work out and work with abs and get in good shape.” Fitness club member – 12

“My goal for fitness club was trying to work out and eat healthy.” Natalia – 14

“In the future, a way to stay fit everyday, I will jog everyday or go to a fitness club and eat healthy.” Imani – 14

“My goal was when I started was that I am supposed to stay in shape.” Malika – 12

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“The hardest part of fitness club is you still have to keep going even if it hurts. I though the exercises were really hard because it hurts a lot but you can’t stop doing it. The only thing you have to do is try harder. Fitness club helps me use up my time better as well.” Nevaeh – 12

“Working out has helped me feel better about myself and lets me know that I can do what I put my mind to, without others telling me so.”

“Beside my physical appearance, it helped me more with sleeping and getting rest. My motivation and confidence is higher. Also, it has helped with stress and I’m doing better in school.” Kendra – 14

“My favorite workout is going on the bikes and getting my legs pumping so they can be strong.” Fitness Club member – 12

“Working out helped my sleeping because I will go to bed right after because I’m relaxed and I fall asleep quicker.” Natalia – 14

“Working out has helped me feel better about myself and lets me know that I can do what I put my mind to, without others telling me so.” LaKiya – 14

“My favorite is working out on the bikes because I can burn calories.” Virginia – 13

As an instructor of the club, I learned a lot in the process of leading this club. One of my goals for the next Fitness Club is to start each session with an open discussion on maintaining a healthy lifestyle after they graduate from high school and Girls Inc. Now, I will lead a short session of Fitness Club for the Kindergarteners – 3rd Graders. This will be a fun and exciting new challenge. Fitness Club for the teenagers will start back up again after the New Year.

-Mr. Joe

 

 

 

 

 

Queen & Teriana review the book club experience…

Sins of the Father collage

 

My name is Queen Freeman and I’m 12 years old. I’ve been a Girls Inc. member for 5 years. Being a Girls Inc. girl is very enjoyable. You get to make friends who are not in the same school as you and you get to sign up for a lot of different programs and opportunities.  I have had a chance to participate in very many programs such as Techbridge, Art club, B.U.M.P (Bike Union mentoring Project) and much more. This year my most favorite was the book club. During book club we were able to read: Sins of the Father by Theolonious Legend and Teenage Blues and Teenage Blues 3 both by various authors. Being in a book club I’ve been able to work with my friends in book discussions and share how the stories impact us and how we are able to relate to these stories. Sometimes you go in thinking this book is going to be boring and not make sense, but you start reading and you gradually find yourself so focused and attentive that you want to read the book in a day. Because of book club I now have better grammar and I’m more likely to pick up a book and read for fun. It is amazing how a book can capture your imagination and take you on a journey while at home or at Girls Inc.  Everyone should join a book club.

My name is Teriana and I’m 9 years old. I have been a part of Girls Inc. for 3 years. In those 3 years, I’ve been able to attend a lot of fun field trips to the planetarium, baseball games, swimming and shows at the Rose Theater. This year I’m very excited to continue to be a part of a book club. We call it Read and Feed because we get snacks as we read. This summer we read, The Name of this Book is Secret by  Pseudonymous Bosch. The main reason I enjoy book club, is because it is quiet and very relaxing. I get to practice how to pronounce new words that I’ve never seen and learn how to express myself using those words. If you have never joined a book club do it!!  OR  join our Read and Feed at Girls Inc.  You.  Will.  Love.  it.